How long to "mix" after blending

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SCAndy

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Ok
So beginning to think about what to blend my small carboy of Malbec with when the time is right.
Plenty of varietal options so thats not an issue.
What I am wondering is when I choose my blending wine and ratio, how long should they sit and integrate before bottling?
I assume I mix them together but I am also questioning how vigorous that should be as well.
Appreciate feedback on timing/ technique.

PS- this is batch #1 for me so have enjoyed/appreciated the knowledge gained along the way.
 
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I use a drill-mounted stirring rod. Get the wine whirling without creating a vortex, and pour the blending wines in with a thin stream. Blend for 30 seconds, then reverse direction for 30 seconds. For typical 5 to 10 gallon batches, that should be sufficient. If you're wondering if it's enough, blend another minute, changing direction half way through.

Letting the wine rest to fully integrate isn't always simple, depending on the final volume. if your new volume is 7-1/2 US gallons, you have to find containers to hold it with a proper headspace.

I'd probably setup for bottling, and by the time that's ready, the wine is probably integrated enough.
 

SCAndy

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Thanks for the reply. Seems good logical common sense. Which is a good thing!
I have seen various mixing tools online .
I was definitely concerned about longer term storage as the volume of coarse changes and that would be a wrinkle.
Let's see if I don't drink it all while trialing blends. I could see how small batches might shrink, but that would be fun anyway.
Looking forward to creating a final product.
Will certainly report progress.
 

Ohio Bob

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If the wines have been degassed I’m not sure it’s necessary to vigorously stir them. Might even introduce more oxygen than you want.

I’m not sure there is a simple answer to blend at bottling or blend and THEN bulk age. I suspect both will be acceptable but the blend-at-bottling might need to age in the bottle more than if you blended and then bulk aged.
 
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If the wines have been degassed I’m not sure it’s necessary to vigorously stir them. Might even introduce more oxygen than you want.
That's why I said "no vortex". If the wine is moving, and direction is changed a few times, it will mix. Adding the normal dose of K-meta handles any O2 that is introduced.
 

distancerunner

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Slightly contrarian viewpoint.

When you blend wines, remember that the chemistry of each is slightly different. That can cause problems.

  • Blending stabilized wines can create an unstable wine.
  • Risk of refermentation.
  • Risk of uncompleted MLF restarting.
The first leaves the drinker with wine diamonds in their mouth. And while sediment causes a negative experience for the uninitiated, the last two can cause bottle bombs.

What is the probability of any of these things happening? I don't know. But I'd suspect that it has at least something to do with the winemaker's routines and cellar habits.

It's a good idea to leave blends for a few weeks (months?) before bottling.
 
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Slightly contrarian viewpoint.
Contrary or not, the points are valid!

  • Blending stabilized wines can create an unstable wine.
  • Risk of refermentation.
  • Risk of uncompleted MLF restarting.
My advice is based on the fact that none of these have occurred for me, but they are all possible.

While folks have reported this, #1 seems unlikely unless the majority of the wine is high in acid. However, crystals will drop if acid is above the saturation threshold and any type of "seed" is added, e.g., a particle that the crystals will adhere to. Can anyone explain this better?

#2? My blending experience is all dry wines, so it's never been an issue. However, if any of the wines have been backsweetened, ensuring the wine is stabilized is absolutely necessary to avoid mini-volcanoes!

I haven't intentionally produced MLF, so I've not considered it, but it makes sense.
 

distancerunner

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As I understand it (weasel words, I know) tartaric acid is not soluble in wine. It is merely in solution. Adding finely ground tartaric acid into a container (seeding) of wine works because the added crystals serve as nucleation points for the tartaric acid in solution to congregate. The newly formed crystals are heavy and drop out of solution. Now you have wine diamonds.

In a blend, if one wine has more tartaric acid than another there is always a chance that tartaric acid will precipitate out of the newly blended wine. Stabilization testing can be done. If it's stable, all is good. If not, there is a choice to be made.
 

SCAndy

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All good points.
All the wine is dry and finished MLF so I am not worried about those issues. I guess it should be standard protocol for wine to be appropriate for bottling weather blended or not. I could see problems either way if not.

As far as tartrates go, in reds I never seem to be bothered by them. Whites would be another story. So many of my cellared Reds throw all sorts of sediment and crystals. Wines that I am proud to say have some of the best pedigrees in the biz. (Sorry kids, Dad's not leaving all his money for the next generation)

That being said, I still am interested in knowing how long various winemakers let their blends "integrate" before bottling. Home vs. professional and any handwaving opinions.
 

sour_grapes

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As I understand it (weasel words, I know) tartaric acid is not soluble in wine. It is merely in solution. Adding finely ground tartaric acid into a container (seeding) of wine works because the added crystals serve as nucleation points for the tartaric acid in solution to congregate. The newly formed crystals are heavy and drop out of solution. Now you have wine diamonds.

I think these statements are correct if you change "tartaric acid" to "potassium bitartrate."
 

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